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Fuji VaLite 178 Triple Butted Tubing?

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Fuji VaLite 178 Triple Butted Tubing?

Old 02-09-19, 08:57 PM
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Fuji VaLite 178 Triple Butted Tubing?

This comes on a Fuji Mixte which catalog says complete bike weighs 27.5 lbs. Not the lightest Mixte, but also not a 30lbs.+ mixte. But I've not heard of this tube set and wondered if anyone else is familiar with it? It's a nicely made lugged Mixte frame and a mid 80s bike with good components, but hoped to learn more about the tubeset if anyone knows. Oh, it comes with a kick stand so might be able to shed a pound/half pound right there, so maybe a 26.5/27 lb. bike?

Thanks
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Old 02-09-19, 09:08 PM
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Here is some info on Valite. Apparently it is between HiTen, Mangaloy and ChrMoly. Fuji made tones of bikes with it in various buttings https://classicfuji.com/1982_04_Information3_Page.htm.
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Old 02-09-19, 09:45 PM
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If you search around the forum, you'll typically find positive reviews, especially regarding the ride. Not exactly gas pipe, but not 531 either. If the bike works for you and has good components, grab it!
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Old 02-10-19, 08:00 AM
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Fuji's VALite was a steel alloy with tensile strength falling between hi-tensile and chromium-molybdenum steels. Consequently, the tubing thickness and resultant frame weight typically falls between that of hi-tensile and chromium-molybdenum (CrMo) frames. It was introduced in 1982, at about the same time as Tange Mangaloy, Ishiwata Magny and Miyata Mangalight. All four have similar properties and the latter three are classified as carbon-manganese steels so Fuji's emphasis on vanadium and aluminum may be primarily a marketing ploy to differentiate it from the the competition.

Given Fuji's longstanding relationship with Ishiwata, VALite may be rebranded version of Magny. As evidence of this, Ishiwata offered a Magny EX triple butted tubeset with top and down wall thickness of 1.0/0.7/0.8 mm. Drop the decimals and uses only the significant numbers and this becomes 178. Consequently, I believe VALite 178 is rebranded Magny EX.

The prime advantage of all these steels was that was that they had a higher brazing temperatures than CrMo, making them suitable for mass volume manufacturing processes. Many also used seamed construction to further reduce costs. This significantly dropped the price of bicycles with relatively lightweight, butted frames in the early 1980s..

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Old 02-10-19, 08:10 AM
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I have a Fuji made from 178 and it is an excellent ride. I believe it is a Sagre’s from 1986. The memory on this device was erased and I lost my links but going from own memory the tubing was made by Ishiwata. Though it isn’t the lightest frame, it is very comfortable and has all the qualities you want from vintage steel imo. It rides similarly to 531 and feels less stiff and a bit heavier than true temper in my trek 750, for example.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:35 AM
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@T-mar;, you need to write a book about the cycling industry covering the transition from the bike boom era through the 80s to beginning of the modern era in the 90s. Or we need to develop the technology to download your brain into a computer before you move on to the great LBS in the sky.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:41 AM
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Thanks to you all. This is going to be a second grand daughters first bike. I kind of look at first bikes and musical instruments for children the same way. A good quality beginner bike, like a good quality music instrument is a doorway. Maybe that's all they will ever need, to play/ride on occasions or maybe the interest will pass to neglect and they will be let go of some day. But if you give them a quality instrument/bike to learn/start on their choice to continue won't be clouded by the quality of the instrument or bike. Thus I look for the sweet spot of good quality materials and build. Now if a spark is struck and a life passion is found there's always time to start looking for that very expensive 531 Mixte or choose one of Grandpa's vintage racing/touring bikes. Or again as with my first grand daughter this bike might become "my forever bike". Either way a very happy future for them.

Again my thanks, your information backs up my judgement that the 1985 Fuji Sagres Mixte 48mm/19" will be a good choice to start another Grand daughter on.

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Old 02-10-19, 10:49 AM
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^^^^^ Bonus - The grand may appreciate the value of something "old", that everyday items don't have to be new to be useful (a far too prevalent notion among the young today). Cultivating that appreciation is as great a gift as the bike itself.
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Old 02-10-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
@T-mar;, you need to write a book about the cycling industry covering the transition from the bike boom era through the 80s to beginning of the modern era in the 90s. Or we need to develop the technology to download your brain into a computer before you move on to the great LBS in the sky.
This.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
@T-mar;, you need to write a book about the cycling industry covering the transition from the bike boom era through the 80s to beginning of the modern era in the 90s. Or we need to develop the technology to download your brain into a computer before you move on to the great LBS in the sky.
Agreed
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Old 02-10-19, 12:06 PM
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I agree T-Mar it would be nice to have the breathed of your knowledge saved. It is the curse of vintage things, they come from an age when things were not throw away or abandoned at the next Phone 1.0, 2.0, ad infinity. Instead as things wore out they were replaced, serviced, repaired. Even broken frame tubes which can fail in time can be removed and replaced, but in all cases someone needs to know how to do this, where to find the parts/tools. None of this is rocket science, but it is a science of sorts, you think through your problem, you learn to pause before you go to brute force. The hardest thing for vintage cars, bicycles, airplanes, etc. is keeping alive this kind of knowledge. It is the boon of this forum that someone has seen it before, whatever your problem. Perhaps there should be a sticky, akin to the YouTube tutorials where solutions are kept, be they for, brake, BB, derailleur, hubs, etc. There's not that many sub-components to a bicycle, so that after you offer a cure/solution, you this new sticky and re-post your idea under the appropriate sub-component of the bicycle with where possible Year/Brand/Model of component in the subject heading. Just a thought.
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Old 02-10-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
@T-mar;, you need to write a book about the cycling industry covering the transition from the bike boom era through the 80s to beginning of the modern era in the 90s. Or we need to develop the technology to download your brain into a computer before you move on to the great LBS in the sky.
+1 more. But an LBS for the hereafter? Hm, I would think for this crowd, "great swap meet in the sky" would be more apropos.
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Old 02-10-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
+1 more. But an LBS for the hereafter? Hm, I would think for this crowd, "great swap meet in the sky" would be more apropos.
I tried to think of a good cycling analog. Hes that guy at the old bike shop who can identify the make and model of a bike to the year as it comes in the door. Like those guys who can identify a car by the sound it makes as it drives by.
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